May 2011 to May 2013

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Missionary Blessings

Studying in class with Elder Carlson
This week has been a good week, but very up and down. It seems that I wake up every morning down and then my Father in Heaven turns around my day and by the end of the day it has been a good day. It is so evident how I am blessed here as a missionary.

A week ago I got to go to the temple again and my comp, we were on splits so it was Elder Covey, forgot his temple recommend. So we had to walk back and go to a later session. It was a blessing because I got to know him better and know he is the new district leader. We taught the older district, it was nice because they helped out my Spanish and teaching while I taught.  I have been running for gym with Elder Blake. It has been nice; it reminds me of my runs at BYU. It is weird being in Provo in such a different setting. I look at the Y every day and it brings back memories. Haha. They are all good and I am glad.

Elder Blake and Elder Covey

I gave the best lesson I ever gave. We taught one of our progressive investigators and it was amazing; the spirit was so strong. We taught about how god loves him as a person. It was great.  We sat in silence for about 3 minutes. I never knew how powerful silence was.

I got to meet my mission president. It was great. He is such a great guy. He has so much love for everyone. There will be a movie on of us, I think. Before that, Elder Bednar spoke to all of us about being preach my gospel missionaries. It was a great talk!! So inspiring. Every talk here is inspiring and lifts you up. I have never enjoyed talks that much. I pray that I will get the message I need from the speaker. I think it helps a lot.

O cleaning this week. I cleaned the bathroom floors, which includes the women’s bathroom. And we found a secret room with beds in the girl’s bathroom. I did not know girl’s bathrooms had beds in them. I knew about couches, but not beds. It was kinda funny. That was my funny story for the week.

God has also really humbled me here as well. I have definitely seen my weaknesses. I have a few quotes when I write a real letter.

Love, Elder TJ Melanson

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our Best Lesson

Well on last Wednesday, Elder West and I taught our best lesson we have ever taught. It was at the TRC, so it was in English about the plan of salvation. For the first time we taught an equal amount and I did not control the whole lesson. It was great!! It was such a good feeling to teach a good lesson.
One of our progressive investigators dropped us on Thursday. He asked about polygamy the time before and he was just in a mood where he wanted to prove us wrong, so we did not answer the way we wanted. So he kicked us out. It was a great learning experience. I now know what to do if that stuff comes up again. I went on a run on Friday with a couple of elders from my district. We just spoke Spanish. It was a good confidence builder and really taught me a lot. We played a Jeopardy game on Saturday with one of our teachers. It was way fun!!

I love Sundays. It is a great study day!! I studied faith this week. It was great. I love studying the gospel. It is something I have definitely learned to love. On Monday, we had service. The mission presidents are coming today, so we had special cleaning. We first put up the flags for all the nations. Then we scrubbed bricks. Very interesting service. I thought they only cleaned bricks in prison. Haha jk it was fun. We had a sub teacher 2 months of the mish. It was great. His testimony was so inspiring. He made me so pumped to go teach the Latin people. They are a great people and I have already started to love them.

We got our new progressive investigator from Hermano Kohn. His name is Jonathan. It is cool. I like him a lot better. He is in a band and has lots of questions.

Yesterday was a great day. Hermano Johnson was very inspirational. He is such a great guy and a great teacher. The devo was amazing. It got me ready to go serve the Lord and walk with the Lord, always ready to open my mouth, so He can fill my mouth with His words.

Well, that’s my week.

Monday, June 20, 2011

MTC Zone Leaders

TJ and Elder Armes (Zone Leader)

Elder Robers (Zone Leader from Vernonia, OR) and TJ

Some familiar faces from college!

Soekhee and TJ

TJ and Elder Caleb Price

Elder Josh Davies and TJ

Elder Michael Abbot and TJ

Focusing on the Atonement

Hey it has been a good week I have been studying a lot, I focused a day of studying on the atonement it was great! I read a few conference talks and I read a few scriptures it was definitely an uplifting study, probably the best time I have had this week.  Just thought I would start it out that way. 

Well I get to go the temple today; we only get to go once on our P day so it is a good moment especially doing family names.  We don’t have service on our P days either which is nice because it gives another hour of personal time to write letters, and relax a little bit, but I have kinda lost what relax really means. We do our service on Mondays, my companion and I have cleaned the corners of the carpet with ghost buster vacuums, swept the sidewalk (the worst job), put up all the countries flags (best job), cleaned the chalk boards, dusted, that is pretty much it, it is fun, I always like service. My schedules for my days, are all about the same, wake up at 6, get ready til 7, personal study til 7:30, breakfast til 8, then personal study again til 9. Class for 3 hours, where we learn the gospel, Spanish, and teach progressive investigators (the teachers pretending to be investigators). We teach them in Spanish and they only talk in Spanish, it is way hard!!  We then go to lunch at 12, then class again, then language study, dinner then computer language study, and gym. Then we plan at 9, and then go to the resident halls at 9:20. We get ready for bed, read and write in our journals til 10:30, which is bed time. They schedule changes a bit each day. On P days it is different, we wake up, get ready, eat breakfast, go wash cloths/ write letters, then more free time to write, then personal study at 11, then lunch at 12, personal time til 1:30, then temple and more personal time til dinner at 5, then class after that (where we go to the TRC), where we teach volunteer investigators, it is fun.

My roommates names are Elder West, my comp. He is from Sandy going to Salta, Argentina, and then the other two in my room are elder Petersen the tall one, and elder Christian. They are both going to Fresno. There are 11 in my district; there were 12, one went home. (4 are going to Argentina and 7 to Cali.)

This week has been very long. We have done a lot of teaching our progressive investigator and have not got very far; it is hard to teach in Spanish and also understand everything he is saying.  We had a great zone meeting on Thursday and it has helped the other elders be more focused in their studying, which has been very good. It has been a lot of the usual, though not much very interesting. Our speaker on Sunday was very good. It was about chastity and how to teach it; it was a very good talk. On Wednesday we had the general primary president come to talk. We sang primary hymns, and she had a very simple message about how to be a representative of Christ and giving more than 100%. I also got the first vision memorized in Spanish; it is a good feeling to have that memorized.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Teaching in the MTC

Hey this week has been great. I have really figured out why I am here and who sent me and who is on my side. It is great to be in the Lord’s service! This week I taught more. We have progressive investigators that we keep teaching. I can’t remember if I told you about them already. We have two teachers and we teach both of them. One of them we were teaching for the first time. We were teaching the first lesson and my companion got scared and jumped past everything and went right to the book of Mormon. It was really funny. It messed my up real bad, but it worked out. I ended up talking for most of the time. Look in Preach my Gospel lesson one to see all that he skipped. We are teaching the beginning of the lesson tomorrow. The other investigator we had it a little more organized. We are preparing lesson 2 for him. It is about the plan of salvation. I hope the first lesson went well. He did not keep his commitment of coming to church, so we are going to try to harp a little on that. Even though these are fake investigators, it is great to teach them. If you pray and think of them as real, they really turn into real investigators and it is great. For the investigator where we jumped to the Book of Mormon, when I was bearing my testimony I got all teary eyed, the spirit is so strong here. I keep catching myself wiping my eyes because they are teary. I did not think I was a huge crier but I guess I am. ha-ha. The worst was at the mission conference on Sunday. It was a great 2 hour meeting where we were taught from the MTC mission president and his counselors and their wives. They had great testimonies. It showed me that I need to try harder, work harder, put in all of my time to serve the Lord. I have never worked so hard, and wanted the days to last longer so that I could have more time to work. The Devotional yesterday was spectacular. The part that stood out to me is every morning find a spot, after you have got ready for the day, and talk to the Lord. Tell him your plan for the day and have a discussion with him. I tried it today and it has already made a difference in my day. My Spanish is coming along. I want it to come faster, but I am working hard and trying my best.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Work Continues

Dear Family,

Hey.  Did not have enough time to write everything.  So more about the Door Contact.  One of my teachers was the investigator.  He acted like someone he taught.  It was way cool.  I understood most of what he said but I did not really know exactly what he was saying.  I could say some things in Spanish but not a lot.  It is so hard. 

Today I teach the first lesson in Spanglish and we have street contacting.  That’s about all I forgot, I hope.  Make sure you ask questions, then I know what to write.

Love, Elder Melanson

Elder Melanson, Elder West, Elder Peterson, Elder Christianson

My MTC District

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I have had a great time here at the MTC. It has been super fun, but really hard!  I had a great day on Sunday! The fireside was amazing it really made me want to be here! After the fireside I went up to go watch a talk by Elder Holland. It was the most inspirational talk I have ever listened to! Every feeling of wanting to come home washed away. Everybody had new energy that next day.  I am working way hard, but it is hard because my district is one of those talking ones, not one of the study ones, so that is hard.  But I pray that it will get better and I will be able to study hard even with distractions.

The first day in the MTC was like jumping into a cold lake we jumped right into learning Spanish. That was super hard. Now I can understand some of it and I can speak a lot of it! But not enough to really communicate. Haha. It is coming slowly but surely. We started of learning how to pray and bare my testimony. Now I can introduce myself and can a TINY conversation. The days are all the pretty much the same. I wake up then have personal study, then breakfast, than, personal study, then class, than, lunch than more class then language study than dinner, than, a language lab, than and gym.  I always play basketball of course. There are some pretty good players.

I have definitely learned the power of prayer. I have never prayed so much in my whole life. I pray for everything.

The devotional the other day was ok, it was Bro. Packer, Elder Packer’s son, he was kinda dry, but had some good things to say. He had us realize that not everything goes our way, no matter how much faith we have.

I taught my first door contact in Spanish it was hard. I understood a lot but I could not say much. I will be teaching the first lesson later today. And another door contact. It is super exciting to be able to do that. We are learning a lot here.

Love you so much and miss you!!
Thank you so much for your support and prayers!!
Love, Elder Melanson